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Suit Against County Sheriff Moves Forward

Suit Against County Sheriff Moves Forward

Associated Press

November 26, 2010

SUTTONS BAY, Mich. — A federal judge has refused to throw out a lawsuit filed against the Leelanau County sheriff that accuses him of eavesdropping on and bullying subordinates.

U.S. District Judge Janet Neff issued an order this week denying a motion to dismiss the suit against Sheriff Mike Oltersdorf.

The lawsuit was filed last year by several current and former members of the sheriff’s department.

Oltersdorf is accused of listening to conversations on what employees believed to be private lines in several instances dating to 2006. The suit also claims Oltersdorf used recordings of conversations critical of him to intimidate and discipline officers.

Neff said defense lawyers didn’t provide a good reason for the suit to be thrown out.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle wasn’t able to reach Oltersdorf and his attorney on Wednesday.

Lawyer Mike Dettmer, who represents the group of plaintiffs, said he wasn’t surprised by the judge’s decision.

“This is a straightforward case in our mind, and this was just the next step in getting to trial,” he told the Record-Eagle. “The sheriff has a pattern of retaliation against his employees, and he will be held accountable for it.”

A trial is scheduled for February.

A settlement conference also is set for next month, but Dettmer said he doesn’t expect a deal will be reached.

The suit is only one of several conflicts between Oltersdorf and his employees in recent years.

He fired Sgt. James Kiessel and Deputy Duane Wright, two plaintiffs in the suit, after he said they “abused their power” during an investigation.

Both men filed a grievance over their terminations.

Wright eventually was reinstated, but Kiessel still is out of work.


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    heysarge has a admirer

  • Thinker_max50

    darsavmo

    over 3 years ago

    11344 Comments

    Emails on department computers have no right to privacy, phone calls or conversations between officers or with others does have a right to privacy. Sheriff or not, listening in on private phone calls or making secret recordings w/o a court order is a crime in most if not all states...

  • Joefriday_max50

    alexy

    over 3 years ago

    3970 Comments

    Good job

  • Police_link_badge_max50

    HEYSARGE

    over 3 years ago

    16734 Comments

    Anonymous is now gone!!!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    HEYSARGE made the following comments in reference to a 15 year old Asian boy, Henry Dang, who was killed by an off duty officer. Witnesses said the officer had been drinking all day and there is allegations responding officers, including the off duty officers own father, hindered the investigation of one of their own.
    Here is HEYSARGE's comments

    "Another one sided story......This is what I would like to know:

    1. Who caused the accident? ( Just because they allege speed and drunk driving does not mean this is the causation of the accident )
    2. Why was the 15 yr old riding his bike at midnight ?
    3. Was he wearing a helmet if required?
    4. Did the bicyclist leave a point of safety into the path of the vehicle?
    5. Did the bicyclist have a front facing head light?
    6. Did the bicyclist have all the require rereflector for proper night operation ?
    7. What was the bicyclist conduct prior to the accident, what had he been doing? Drugs or alcohol on board?
    8. What's the parent's responsibility for not having proper supervision and having their son on a bicycle at midnight?
    I guess I could go on but won't, I guess the media just is happy as a lark to bash an off duty police officer!!
    I'm not saying the off duty officer should not take responsibility for what ever actions that contributed to this tragic loss of life but I'm just tired of a one sided story................Gee"

    http://policelink.monster.com/news/articles/147575-officer-arraigned-in-death-of-ct-teenager

    I noticed these comments about policelink after the following story FYI

    http://sfbayview.com/2010/disaster-capitalism-%e2%80%93-in-haiti-congo-pakistan-and-new-orleans/

    You know some of your policelink members have a rep for making really hateful comments...You guys should really clean it up. Dumping HEYSARGE would be a good start

    This email is just my opinion

  • Joefriday_max50

    alexy

    over 3 years ago

    3970 Comments

    Sheriff's have absoloute power. It is a VERY powerfull position and rarely is the person who is sheriff able to wield his authority with integrity and intellegence.
    There is a quote from Sun Tsu that goes along with this story and issue.
    "Nothing corrupts more absoloutely,than absouloute power"
    As far as this situation in paticular.....well let it play out.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    i fave seen a lot of vozo chiefs/sheriffs but we need ore info

  • Pug_max600_max50

    DALLASCRANE

    over 3 years ago

    19386 Comments

    He said, I said, they might have said. In the private sector your email's are not private and companies can record calls for "quality assurance." Mud slinging is cheap until the lawyers get involved.

  • Img_1050_max50

    Irishcop1961

    over 3 years ago

    46034 Comments

    I would like the whole story before I form a opinion.

  • 1979_max50

    Robocop33

    over 3 years ago

    14600 Comments

    While I do not think the Sheriff is someone I would want to work with the whole story cannot be learned from this short article. The one thing that is a fact in the two states that I have knowledge of is that Deputies serve at the pleasure of the Sheriff and he needs no reason to fire a deputy on the spot. Not right in my opinion but factual.

  • Police_link_badge_max50

    HEYSARGE

    over 3 years ago

    16734 Comments

    Sounds like theres a lot missing here......

  • Snoopy_6_max50

    Jonas

    over 3 years ago

    41176 Comments

    Nobody likes a bully. Especially an eavesdropping one......

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